Saturday, March 07, 2015

The theme to "I Love Lucy" (music by Eliot Daniel, words by Harold Adamson)

By Richard K. Barry

Eliot Daniel with Desi Arnaz
Although the iconic "I Love Lucy" sitcom had its original run in the 1950s, it was going strong in syndication when I was a little kid in the '60s. The theme song is still probably the most recognizable in its genre, at least for those of a certain age.

Lydia Hutchinson writes at American Songwriter:
On October 15, 1951, the very first episode of the I Love Lucy show aired on CBS and became the most watched TV show in the U.S. for four of its seven-year run. Fun trivia about the opening theme song is that during the first season the show opened with their sponsor Philip Morris’ animation of stick figure cartoons of Lucy and Desi climbing down a pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. It was scored with Ferde Grofé’s Jr. “The Grand Canyon Suite” theme (a composition from 1931).

From the second season onwards, the “I Love Lucy” signature tune we all know so well became the main theme, and one of the most recognizable pieces of music on the planet. It was written by composer Eliot Daniel who cranked it out in an afternoon as a favour to his old Coast Guard buddy Jess Oppenheimer, the show’s producer. Since Daniel still had another year under his exclusive contract to Fox, he asked Oppenheimer to keep his name out of it. Consequently his name does not appear on first or the second season TV credits for what became one of the most popular TV themes.

Fortunately for Daniel he did later get royalty credits along with the cheques that come with it.

I did not know, before reading Hutchinson's piece, that there are lyrics to the song, written by Harold Adamson. They appeared, performed by Ricky,  in an episode in season three in which Lucy thinks her birthday has been forgotten. 

Don't worry. Everything works out. Didn't it always?

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